Thursday, 16 March 2017

I am back, well sort of LoL

Hey it's only me, ages since my last blog. You know when you kind of have little ideas and plans about what you are going to do, where life is going to take you and thoughts of 'well I will start the year out with this'. Well I have come to the conclusion I am not going to do that any more. When ever I think more than a week or so ahead you can pretty much guarantee the god or gods of 'lets move the goal posts' seem to come to town and rain on my parade.

Now I am not here to whine on about 'poor me' I am just venting a little about how fed up I am with stuff getting in the way. For me it always appears to be ill health. Just recently I have been feeling a tad below par, as I was struck down with a nasty strep infection. During the past 5 weeks I have had the lot, sore throats, an ear infection and to add insult to injury a nasty chest infection.


Silverback Synergy Fat Glenn Johnstone
Out in South Moor park

Silverback Synergy Fat
Silverback Synergy Fat
Anyhoo moving on I thought I  would write a little blog about my first ride out, yes that's my first ride out of 2017. As I recall I have not been out for a ride for some 10 or so months. God I am so unfit, as today's little 8 mile excursion proved. Thinking positively the main thing was I got out, well eventually. I had a few technical issues with my Race Face dropper seat post this morning. Ern and I had a tinker with it and it seemed to sort itself, however once out on the trail it decided to try and annoy me by refusing to stay down, then when I sat on it refusing to stay up. At one point I had to use my £1 pliers that I picked up from some cheap shop. To be fair they are probably the best £1 I have spent as they have proved invaluable on quite a few outings.


My £1 pliers
Had to use my pliers to grab cable as it popped out


A ride out for me would not be a proper ride out unless I fell off and hey I had to christen my new Silverback Synergy Fattie lol. It happened on a upward section of trail that was real thick with mud. I tried my best to power through, however came to a stop and inevitably fell off on my BTK Crossover side, with my normal phrase of 'Oh Crap'. Not much you can do as an amputee if you fall to your prosthetic side. Of course years of practicing falling off I am now pretty adept and not injuring myself. The worst thing you can do is stick an arm out. I tend to just hold on to the bars and try and turn so I fall on my back pack.



Oops!
Quite a few firsts today when I think about it. As well as my first ride of 2017, it was also my first go on my new Silverback Synergy Fat Bike. I received the bike last year just before Christmas and became an ambassador for Silverback. My bike had been languishing in the dinning room. I had intended going out on her as soon as I got her heli-taped and the little bits and bobs I had purchased, bars, grips,chain ring etc fitted. However due to after mentioned bugs, viruses and infections I had picked up, everything was put on hold. Speaking of getting my bike Heli-Taped would just like to say a huge thank you to the guys at Infinity Cycles as they did a fantastic job wrapping my bike, with an Invisframe kit, very pleased. First impressions of the Silverback Synergy Fat Bike. When the bike arrived  (a size Large)  and she was stood in my dinning room I have to admit I thought 'wow this thing is huge'. I mean I am just over 6 feet, with roughly a 32 inch inside leg. Just shows though looks can be deceiving. As soon as I was outside and threw my leg over the bike and got going I felt right at home. The bike rolls really well on the Maxxis Mammoths (I discovered on my way home from my outing that I did not have to pedal at all coming from the Morrison road ends. No the bike is not electric, it was because the wind I had fought to get up to that point was so strong it practically pushed me all the way along the road lol) The Synergy feels remarkably light and stable. Point it in a direction and it doesn't feel like it is riding on big fat tyres. It feels rather nimble and is very comfortable to ride. I think if I was going to upgrade anything it would be the Shimano Deore brakes. I feel something with a bit more bite and power would suit the Synergy. Think I will look at this at a later date as wow decent brakes are pretty expensive.


I have popped an Absolute Black Oval chain ring on. Not sure how much difference this has made. But I can tell you although I was tired due to lack of stamina I did not get off on any hills or banks. The chain ring feels smooth in use. Time will tell regarding the ring, it seems to work well on the Synergy. The bike has a nice ratio, between the 11 gears.

Absolute Black Oval Ring

For a first outing I am very impressed with my new ride. And the colour looks so much better in the flesh, it is a very in your face shade of Orange. One thing I did notice upon getting home and washing my bike. Water tends to sit in the frame where the rear shock is situated. It's easy to sort this I just placed my bike upside down to let the water drain. I will be writing a lot more about my adventures on my new steed. It has been great to get out.


Glenn Johnstone and BTK Crossover
BTK Crossover
Glenn Johnstone and BTK Crossover
BTK Crossover
Oh and another first was getting out on the bike wearing my new BTK Crossover. I have received some amazing backing and support to enable me to go out and play on my various bikes and use the new knee as it was designed as a true 'Hybrid' so walking and getting about.The knee is an amazing piece of tech. So a big thank you to Pace Rehab, especially my prosthetist Paul Richardson. The Arctic One Foundation  and to Fabtech Systems and Leftsideinc for shipping the unit over to Pace for me to play and use... A little about first impressions from today's short adventure on the BTK Crossover. This morning I placed roughly 25 psi in the Rock Shox shocker. The new BTK differs from it's predecessor the Original BTK. The Crossover rely's more on the shocker instead of relying on the tendons. Upon the few little descents over slightly rougher stuff I felt adding a few more psi's would have benefited. This was because I felt it was difficult to maintain just sitting out the saddle with my knee flexed. That said I am used to the old BTK and with that one I never used any stops to maintain flexion. The new Crossover comes with wedges that can be put in place to maintain various degrees of flexion, so I think my next time out I will try a 20 degree wedge in place. As said this will help maintain flexion so I can just pop over any bumps, jumps or drops. After 10 months of not using a BTK I found getting out the saddle real easy and was very pleased that I could actually start my bike off on an incline, gain enough momentum and actually get out the saddle and ride foot over foot up the hill. As an amp this is one of the most difficult things to do. To get that push off and start riding from a stationary position whilst on a bank, hill or incline. The incline was not huge and can be seen at the start of my short video.


Silverback Synergy Fat Glenn Johnstone
Out on my Silverback Synergy, playing in puddles
 
Silverback Synergy Fat Glenn Johnstone
Really like the new bike


Silverback Synergy Fat Glenn Johnstone
Dirty out there



 

Normally when I am fairly fit I can plod along at my own pace and get form A to B. This morning what with the gusty wind and time away from my bikes, swimming etc I was knackered. The hardest part was going through the open trail part of Chapman's Well's nature reserve. I stopped twice once about halfway up the trail for a drink and a little think 'why do I do this again'. Then again when I came to the small wooden bench on the way out of the reserve. At this point I lay my bike down and proceeded to have 15 minutes lay down on the bench trying to reassure myself that 'yes I am somewhat of an old fart now, but if I just keep at it my stamina will increase'. To be fair instead of being hard on myself I should give myself a well done as I am still not feeling 100%. What with my immunity being so low and catching stuff. I figure getting back out in the fresh air will do me the world of good. Not only physically, but mentally too.

As always I saw a few friendly people on my little adventure, it's nice to just say 'hello' and on some occasions share a spot of banter. I now need a rest, however will be out again soon

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